Watch Artist Shepard Fairey Pretend to Work in an Art Supply Store

Atten­tion sulky art school stu­dents! Next time you’re stock­ing up on pre-smashed TVs, baby doll parts, riot cop sten­cils and man­nequins, be sure to say hel­lo to Shep­ard Fairey.

The artist is cur­rent­ly sport­ing a provoca­tive T‑shirt of his own design and pos­ing as an employ­ee of Shock­ing Art Sup­ply and Craft.

D’oh! We’ve been punked again!

Fairey’s real, but the store, a bright­ly lit empo­ri­um cater­ing to those seek­ing to make sub­ver­sive state­ments with their art, is the inven­tion of Fred Armisen and Car­rie Brownstein’s Port­landia. (The full episode aired last week on IFC.)

Armisen and Brown­stein ham things up in ill-fit­ting wigs as Gigi and Phil, char­ac­ters pre­vi­ous­ly known for run­ning a com­pa­ny that pro­vid­ed bad art for cof­fee shop walls.

Mean­while, Fairey wins laughs by leav­ing the com­e­dy to the come­di­ans. Though I wouldn’t be sur­prised to learn that Shock­ing Art Sup­ply employ­ee Shep­ard F is an admir­er of Hen­ry Rollins. You can read all sorts of things into a per­for­mance that dead­pan.

The seg­ment was filmed in a Port­land store where Fairey remem­bered pur­chas­ing art sup­plies a few years back. As he notes on his web­site:

I’m no actor, but this part, along with maybe “jad­ed art stu­dent” or “jad­ed skate shop employ­ee,” are the clos­est I’ll ever get to method act­ing.


- Ayun Hal­l­i­day is an author whose last sting in Port­land involved mak­ing final edits to the Zinester’s Guide to NYC in a bro­ken down vin­tage camper infest­ed with fly­ing ants. Fol­low her @AyunHalliday


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